We have just returned home from our first proper festival, Camp Bestival!
I booked the tickets earlier in the year for Lenn & I to go together over my 31st birthday weekend but after meeting the awesome Becky from Sweetness and Pea whilst at a the Cotswold Baby & Toddler show we realised we were both going alone with our boys and decided to buddy up for the weekend. As much as I was happy to go with Lenn alone, I must say adult conversation and a 4pm G&T in pairs is always better than the sound of your own voice answering repetitive questions and answering 'you can't have an ice cream its 10am' everyday but I must admit Lennie had an ice cream at approx. 10.55 everyday ;)
I loved buddying up and putting our tents next to one another... What I actually mean is I was thankful as I was totally unprepared with a borrowed tent I hadn't practised pitching before rocking up at the festival completely clueless.
TIP: Make sure you take a game for the kids to play whilst your on your hands and knees attempting to put a tent up in the rain (or shine if you're lucky) I bought the boys one of those velcro pads with a ball, remember those?
TIP: Do not forget a pack of baby wipes. We haven't used them at home for about 2 years but they were perfect for EVERYTHING!
Don't know what to pack? Read LadyLand x Clemmie Telford's camping lists here This was a huge help for I the camping novice
So as you may have been aware it rained, I mean it really rained. In fact it rained from Thursday evening until Saturday afternoon and it started raining again on Sunday evening until we left on Monday. Yes we were wet but my goodness we had fun. I had paid just shy of £250 for Lennie & I to go plus spends so there was no chance rain was going to stop us having fun. And you know, I actually think it made it better as we planned our days with our programmes meaning we could swiftly move between tents and secure our places for shows and acts.
TIP: Don't forget a waterproof picnic blanket. It saved our ass's (literally) I even misplaced it twice in one day and when I returned it was exactly where I had left it. It's that kind of festival, no one is going to steal your picnic blanket... even when left on a bench for over an hour.
TIP: Don't overpack, its so easy to but if like me you'll end up wearing the same things over and over. You don;t want to be carrying unworn/used things back and forward to the tent.
TIP: Hire a trolley for £10 for the hour to ferry your stuff from the car. No need to buy one unless you really think you need one at night for the kids. Lenn lasted the day and night without one!
Lenn really came into his own after watching the House Gospel Choir, they had a 7-8pm slot in the Big Top on Saturday and they were incredible. We danced away side by side and life couldn't have got much better at that point! There is nothing better than enjoying live music happily with your 4 year old. We finished Saturday night with a cocktail from the outdoor Caravan bar, the area was made up from old caravans and fair ground rides and featured Cirque Bijou with jugglers and an outdoor trapeze artist twice an evening which we and the kids loved.
Every evening we were in bed by 10:30pm and up at 7:30am the following day, a generous lie in for me. We ate a lazy breakfast on floor cushions every morning at the Shisha Tent (no smoking at brekkie don't worry) and scoffed lunch and dinner at the array of food vendors.
I highly recommend this festival for any first time family festival goers and if you are tempted flying solo with your little one you'd be fine. Everyone is super friendly but if you'd miss four days of adult convo I'd say buddy up with someone for the weekend and make some new friends.
If you have any questions about the festival give me a shout. I'd be happy to help where I can and I'm patiently awaiting next years ticket releases.
You can view further pics of our weekend here